The new Las Vegas Raiders’ regime, led by general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels, have been busy restocking the roster and putting their stamp on the franchise.
There have been some surprise departures, decisions made because of scheme fit. Let’s review some of the bigger departures fueled by Ziegler and McDaniels.
Ngakoue led the Raiders with 10 sacks in 2021, his first season with the team, after he signed a two-year contract in 2021. Yet, the new regime traded him to the Indianapolis Colts for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Basically, at the same time of the trade, Las Vegas signed pass-rusher Chandler Jones, who will replace Ngakoue. Jones played for this regime in Las Vegas and is a better fit for this scheme. Ngakoue is younger, but Jones still a good fit, so this decision is about comfort.
Ingold was a fan favorite and special teams ace before he tore his ACL last season. The Raiders didn’t give him a restricted free agency tender, making him a free agent and he ended up signing with the Miami Dolphins. McDaniels then quickly signed fullback Jakob Johnson in free agency. The two were together in New England. This switch was about comfort as well.
The third-year wide receiver was the latest example of Ziegler and McDaniels not being shy about moving away from the previous regime’s players. The Raiders added four veteran wide receivers and Edwards, a third-round draft pick in 2020 who was a starter in Las Vegas, was the odd man out. Once the Raiders signed Keelan Cole, it was the final push before the Edwards trade to the Falcons.
Yes, of course, Jacobs is still on the Raiders’ roster. But the stage has been set for his eventual departure from Las Vegas. In a 24-hour period in late April, the Raiders announced they didn’t exercise his fifth-year option, making him a free agent in 2023 and then they drafted two running backs. Yes, Jacobs could return next year, but it is clear the new Las Vegas brass is not committed to him for the long term.